As a life coach, I actively challenge my clients to push through their comfort zones, take more risks and cheer them on as they begin to understand that they’re so much more capable than they thought, and find great satisfaction as I watch their confidence grow and expand. I realized it was time for me to do that for myself. I made a commitment to try new things, to test my limits, and push my comfort zone. What were my limits? What was I going to be capable of? Would I be scared? Would I love it? I vowed to say, “Yes!” with enthusiasm and curiosity. The Beginnings of Magic That morning as I agonized over what I should wear, I tried on my (very limited) options. The purple board shorts (it matches my top, but feels a little tight)? The blue board shorts (comfortable, definitely an option)? The skirt? When I put the skirt on, there was an immediate feeling of “Yes!” You know when you just know that an outfit is right? There aren’t words to explain why, but you just know. The skirt it was. And the skirt actually became the go-to outfit for just about every day after that. I’ve been trying to put into words exactly what it was about the skirt that felt so right and what I realized was that it created this beautiful combination of feelings—femininity, strength, courage, confidence, sassy-ness—that I thrived on. And when I felt anxious or fearful, especially on the days we headed into the increasingly large rapids, I would put my skirt on in the morning and know that I was ready for anything. The morning of our first really big rapid, I was set to be in the front of the paddle boat (where you’re a lot more susceptible to getting pitched and going for a rough swim). You could tell it was serious business as the guides got quiet that morning while making preparations to get us through the day safely. I felt the shortening of my breath as my hands started shaking. As I sipped my coffee before heading out, I thought about everything that could go wrong. Then accepted that there was only so much I had control over and I’d do my best. As the day wore on and we approached the rapids, a sense of calm came over me and I was able to focus my energy on my boat mates, encouraging and helping them manage their own fears. As we approached the biggest rapid, I smoothed my skirt over my legs, took a deep breath, looked toward the churning water and focused my senses toward our guide to hear her commands over the roar of the rapids. Suddenly, all my remaining anxiety left, replaced with a giddiness that was decidedly unfamiliar to me in risky situations. My mouth expanded into a huge grin and I giggled. Exhilaration coursed through my body as I whooped and hollered with each onslaught of the rapids splashing toward us, landing in the face (and up the nose). Leaning over the edge of the boat, I dug my paddle deep into the water and pulled back with strength and determination. As a team, we were strong, focused and in concert with one another. We made it through, releasing our relief in laughter and more whooping. I began to joke that the skirt brought out my Inner Badass. [caption id="attachment_6454" align="aligncenter" width="499"] A day hike up Havasu Canyon (photo credit: Jenna Boisvert, Backcountry Babes)[/caption] Throughout the rest of the trip, my skirt was a near-constant companion. Despite the dirt and grime that accumulated at the edges, it represented an evolution of spirit and strength that was growing stronger within me. I realized that the skirt hadn’t directly given me the confidence and courage I was experiencing on the river. It wasn’t that kind of magic. What it did was reveal that I’d had all the strength, courage and confidence all along. It exposed my Inner Badass and allowed me to experience it fully and without apology. Every time I wore the skirt, I gave myself permission to be the woman I wanted to be. And to see that that woman was pretty amazing herself. [caption id="attachment_6468" align="alignright" width="300"] Me on the boat (photo credit: Jenna Boisvert, Backcountry Babes)[/caption] Bringing the Magic Home The trick, of course, is to carry that experience off the river and into daily life and to inhabit the magic without wearing the skirt every day. It’s so easy to slip back into old routines and thought patterns after significant experiences or adventures outdoors when we re-enter our “ordinary” world. We often find it difficult to keep the insights and confidence we gained in sight and practice them every day. When I think about the skirt and the adventure of the Grand, I am able to access my natural confidence and strength. I am reminded that I have the choice to say “yes” more often; to take more risks; to tap into my innate courage and power; and to call upon my Inner Badass at anytime. And you know what? She’s a pretty kick ass partner. What about you? How do you tap into your Inner Badass? ------ About Amy Amy Christensen is owner and life coach at Expand Outdoors. Based in Boulder, CO, she is passionate about helping others take the leap outside their comfort zones. To celebrate the new year, she’s launching an 8-week virtual workshop focused on Building Your Foundation for Fitness. Start out your New Year’s goals with a solid foundation for creating sustainable change. And, as a Title Nine adventurer, type in “T9_build2013” (without the quotes) for a 15% discount.
Tagged: Living Title IX
- Make someone else smile. – Ordinary people worry today and postpone their happiness for tomorrow. Intelligent people are happy today and postpone their worries for tomorrow. Wise people only wish happiness for all, today and tomorrow. If you wish to have a lifetime of happiness, dedicate time every day to helping others smile with complete sincerity and enthusiasm.
- Be imperfect. – Something that is really difficult, but totally worth it, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the journey of becoming your true self. The most beautiful part of this journey is simply returning to the peaceful feeling of being. This peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.
- Be enthusiastic about what you’re doing. – You’re not given a good life or a bad life. You’re given life, and it’s up to you to make it good or bad. So wake up and get motivated; not everybody made it to today. Don’t take your time for granted. Don’t waste time thinking back to whatyou could have done differently yesterday. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and do it differently today. Wherever the road takes you, bring your passion. Whatever you do along the way, do it with all your heart.
- Make the best of what happens. – More important than what happens to you, is what you make of what happens to you. The more thankful you are, the more beautiful this world appears. You must uncover the good in the bad, the happy in your sad, the gain in your pain, and what makes you grateful not hateful. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
- Forgive your past self. – Sometimes, good people like you make bad choices. It doesn’t mean you’re bad; it means you’re human. So get bored with your past; it’s over. Forgive yourself for what you think you did or didn’t do, and focus on what you will do starting now.
- Spend some time simply being and breathing. – The only way to live happily ever after is one day at a time. Just be, breathe, and think not about what you’re missing, but what you’ve been given. Happiness is something that comes into our lives gradually through the doors we don’t even remember leaving open. Read The Power of Now.
- Learn something new. – It’s important to remember that you cannot become who you are capable of being by remaining exactly where you are. If you are not willing to learn and grow, no one can help you. But if you are determined to learn and grow, no one can stop you. In the end, there are no permanent jobs on this planet; we are all interning here. Learn from everyone, evolve, remain humble, and don’t forget to have a good time.
- Look in the mirror, and tell yourself what you love about yourself. – What we see in the mirror is what we see in the world. Our disappointment in others perfectly reflects our disappointment in ourselves. Our acceptance of others perfectly reflects our acceptance of ourselves. Our ability to see potential in others perfectly reflects our ability to see potential in ourselves. Our patience with others perfectly reflects our patience with ourselves. You get the idea – you’ve got toshow yourself some love first.
- Focus on the qualities you like about those around you. – Whenever we focus on a person’s wonderful qualities, we have a wonderful relationship with them. Whenever we focus on a person’s not so wonderful qualities, we have a not so wonderful relationship with them. What we focus on grows in our minds and hearts. Read The Charisma Myth.
- Say “yes” to a spontaneous opportunity. – Everything in life can’t be planned. Some of the greatest opportunities will knock on your door when you least expect them to. Be flexible, be spontaneous, and just say “yes.”
I work in Marketing. Behind a screen. Sending out any vibes I can through the tips of my fingers, rapidly pushing on the keys in front of me. Conveying to everyone how happy their excitement and pleasure in our product and our company makes me can be a challenge for a girl with a limited vocabulary. I often find myself at a loss of words and half ashamed to continually tell them they are "awesome, amazing, wonderful, and beautiful", but in reality, that's what they are. These women I've found myself connecting with are INCREDIBLE women. Incredible. They are doing their part to make the day okay. In any small way they can. Today I received the picture from our gal the Grand Prize winner from the Power of 9 giveaway, and the sight of it brought me to tears. I mean, look at her! :) Her smile was and is, one of the most genuine, gleeful, proud and honestly thrilled to be in the moment photos I've seen in a long time. Sheer, complete, truthful joy! The look on her face wearing her new Title 9 t-shirt with a tennis racket, golf club and soccer ball in one hand, is a look I'm certain parents have the privilege of enjoying on their kids on a summer day. She's beautiful. She's happy. And to top it off, she had just finished her fastest mile as part of her T9K training program :) She's a teacher. She has daughters. And she's enjoying every last moment of her summer that she can. And taking the time that I know she doesn't have to put on her new shirt, find some props, and talk someone into taking her picture to send to the pesky marketing gal at the home office. Jamie my dear, you are a doll. You put in more than one exclamation point despite it being a grammatical error because dang it, you're excited. We sign our emails "love". We address each other by our initials. You're my long lost Midwestern pen pal. Thank you for reminding me what life is all about and how wonderful it will continue to be... if you let it. If you're open to it. You are a beautiful gal - there are far too few like you. Rock on JMG - you're going to be great come that October race day.
Day 9: Words of Wisdom from the Front Lines of Title IXToday marks the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, an Amendment that revolutionized the fields of opportunity for women. While the athletic implications of the law may have been an afterthought, Title IX’s impact on female athletes has become the most significant aspect of that legislation. There is not a woman or girl in this country who has not felt the impact of Title IX, and we want to hear from you!
Were you fighting to play before Title IX passed? Were you there when it happened or are you a beneficiary of the aftermath? We're paying our respects to the Constitutional guardian of smelly gyms, taped ankles, and freshly chalked fields. So bring on those fuzzy photos and words of wisdom. We want to know how Title IX has changed your world for the better. Remember, no experience is too small. Don't wait, get entered> Today’s winner will receive free round trip airfare to our Chicago or Bay Area Title 9K running race, a free race entry, a limited eidition Power of 9 Tee and a Title Nine Water Bottle.
*airfare applies to flights originating within the United States only. Destination must be either (customer’s choice) Chicago, IL or the San Francisco Bay Area. Airfare must be redeemed in conjunction with the Title 9K running race (September 16, 2012 or October 21, 2012.). T-shirt & water bottle prize awarded based on availability – a substitute prize of equal or greater value may be awarded.
Day 8: Show us your strength!
Can you lift your kid over your head? Throw that mountain bike up onto your roof rack? Show us just how strong you really are! Of course in the land of Title Nine, inner strength always counts, too!
The Challenge: We want to hear how you’ve mastered that squat press, conquered that crazy climb, dead lifted all three kids at once, or tackled a challenge that required more emotional, physical, and mental strength than you knew you had. You deserve some credit for your amazing accomplishments, so share your story and/or a photo below and you could win a limited edition Power of 9 Tee and Title Nine Water Bottle. Don't wait, get entered>
*Prize awarded based on availability – a substitute prize of equal or greater value may be awarded.